Tell us about yourself and how you became interested in your craft?
I am a self professed “Jill of all Trades”! I have dabbled in many different things in both my working career and in my personal interests. Ever since I can remember I have been creating, building, painting, gluing, sourcing, cutting, sewing, coloring, pasting, knitting, drawing, dyeing, hammering, drilling, crafting, moulding, pouring, shaping, drawing, and designing. I find I get bored very easily, so it’s good that I have many different things on the go!
When all the other kids got toys for birthday gifts or Christmas in the family, I got art portfolios, pencil crayons, paints, brushes, clay and art kits! I made cool clothes and shoes for my Barbies, in addition to giving the Barbie dune buggy a custom paint job and Barbie a custom hair cut! If an activity involves using my hands or a tool of some sort, I am interested for sure!
What kinds of crafts do you create and what types of techniques and materials do you use?
My interests are diverse to say the least. I experiment in so many different mediums, I can’t think of how many experimental ‘crafty’ ideas I have pursued. My creative process is ever changing. I am forever dabbling in this and that. But if I like the path the project is heading down, I will make it and remake it until it works. I have been known to stay up until the wee hours experimenting!
In my Etsy shop I am currently spending time working with chiyogami, metal and resin. I make slider tins, belt buckles and pendants with chiyogami, and custom items that people have wanted turned into a pendant as it is forever protected under the resin. I would like to branch out to cuff links, metal cuffs, cases, flasks – anything where I can add my special touch.
I love – love – the idea of repurposing old items into something new. Use and reuse. Don’t be wasteful please. I have always had a strong interest in taking something and creating something new, beautiful and useful out of it. When I was eight I got creative with a couple of cereal boxes, some construction paper, glitter, string, glue and felts and paper, and made activity books for my friends and me.
I adore searching for treasures in all shapes and forms. It is one of my favourite past times. I have repurposed old frames making them into cool mirrors, built an outside table with my drill and saw from old lumber that used to be a chair and made a mosaic with old tiles on the top. I have made cute little evening clutches from old funky vintage drapes, pants and skirts, created stuffed toys from old towels and blankets and pillows from favorite shirts and sweaters.
I am currently on the prowl for “THE” perfect vintage “something” that will be turned into the new padded diamond, tufted headboard for the guest bedroom that I want to make.
Where do you find inspiration for your designs?
My inspiration comes from life and people. Things will catch my eye and the ideas will start cooking on how I can bring it to fruition. I work pretty intuitively, usually making it up as I go along. Yet something will catch my eye and it will be filed away in my head until a use for it originates. (This usually occurs when I am in the middle of working or sleeping.) I always jot the idea down, so as not to not forget it. I have scraps of paper everywhere that I always intend to transfer to my idea book. Some do eventually make it there.
Are you inspired by any well known arts and crafts specialists?
Honestly, not so much, although I do admire the work of the artisans on Etsy, have acquired some great ideas from magazines and internet reference and from shared knowledge with my friends!
Do you have any new directions regarding design, methods or materials that you hope to explore?
I am experimenting with altering a design of a weekender bag to accommodate roller skates/blades and I am looking to start creating with Polymer clay, pottery and image transfer. I would also like to learn to crochet, do paper making, quilling and silk screening.
How has your experience been showing your designs on Etsy?
Fabulous! Etsy is a wonderful resource and brings together the world’s talent. I love it. There is such diversity on the site and the vast array of items artisans are presenting is amazing! I have had the opportunity to chat with people from across the globe in regards to my wares. It is wonderful!
Do you have any favourite artisans showing on Etsy or other sites?
My first Etsy experience was with groovyglassgirl. She does some very cool glass work in pendants that I love and have given many as a gift!
What websites related to your interests do you like to read regularly?
I love Etsy. I peruse the site reading all it has to offer whenever I have a free moment. (Even when I cannot sleep, I am hiding under the blankets with my I-Touch reading the articles! There are so many useful resources on the site, and I love looking to see what the world is creating.
Cut Out + Keep – make and share craft tutorials. Lots of crazy fun great ideas there!
I love the Real Simple site also; it is one of my favorites! Tons of great ideas on reusing items and being organized, which is something for which I am constantly striving!
Where are your pieces listed on the Internet?
Other than Etsy, I promote my work mostly by word of mouth, have a Twitter account and I have a tab on my Facebook profile.
Do you have a favourite quote that you would like to share with our readers?
We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing. — George Bernard Shaw